The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is completing a Dredge Readiness and Operations Plan (DROP) for the 160-mile Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) to Anclote River. The plan will outline maintenance dredging locations and anticipated completion timeframes for identified dredging priorities. It is anticipated that all required dredging will take place over the next 10-15 years, including a 2018 dredging event at Venice Inlet.
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from the Caloosahatchee River to the Anclote River, which includes the area near Venice, was authorized by Chapter 19 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945 (PL 79-14) in accordance with House Document Number 371, 76th Congress. Route modifications were authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Acts of 1948 (PL 80-858), 1950 (PL 81-516) and 1954 (PL 83-780).
The authorization directed the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct and maintain 160 miles of Intracoastal Waterway to ensure safe and operable navigation to a depth of 9 feet plus 2 feet of over depth Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW). The waterway construction began in 1960 and was completed in 1967. The project winds through Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, and Pinellas Counties, Florida. The West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND) is the non-Federal sponsor for this Project.
The system of harbors and waterways maintained by the Corps of Engineers remains one of the most important parts of the Nation's transportation system. The Corps maintains the Nation's waterways as a safe, reliable, and economically efficient navigation system. The 12,000 miles of inland waterways maintained by the Corps carry one sixth of the nation's inter-city cargo.